So, I’ve been in Nova Scotia for over a week now. I leave in just over 49 hours (from the time I posted this). And I had a wonderful day yesterday. I figured it was time to discuss.
This will be a somewhat long post, talking a bit about my family and a lot about the main/original reason I’m here, which is to do with the Canadian Autism Partnership Project. No details of our discussions – those are confidential – but just how it went, and how the group related to each other, and various bits and pieces.
First of all, visiting my sister’s family and meeting her friends. This has been great. As my sister mentioned to me today while we were driving through Lunenberg, we haven’t really had any length of time when it’s been just the two of us since we were kids. (Her children are with their father this weekend, so we indulged in a trip out to Mahone Bay and Lunenberg. It was too cold to get out at Peggy’s Cove.) It’s really been wonderful. Her friends are great – she’s quite lucky that way, and I’m very pleased for her. Her kids are… well, kids. I have very good reasons for deciding that I was never going to have any myself, but I do love them.
She even taught me the basics of crochet! So we’re going to Michael’s tomorrow to get me some crochet hooks, and for her to get yarn for the craft club she’s doing at the school she teaches at. (We won’t have time on Monday between school, dinner, and my flight.) I’ll put a picture of my practice piece up on my Other Blog. 🙂
And tonight we’re having our older cousin (the only first cousin older than I am) and a friend of hers whom I met last night over for homemade sushi! Yum! And I’ve spent maybe 20 minutes with this cousin in the past two decades, so I’m looking forward to it. (He was my favourite cousin as a kid, in part because the four of us – myself, my sister, this cousin and his middle brother – were all in one age “group”, and then the younger ones started with my brother, who was almost three years younger than the sister I’m visiting.)
I’ve really had a great time here.
As for the CAPP stuff…. One of my sister’s other friends dropped me at the hotel – the Lord Nelson in Halifax – Sunday afternoon (for various reasons my sister was unable to). Went and had dinner at Hamachi House downtown – it was a ten minute walk from the hotel, which got me a bit of exercise. The room was okay – the desk was comfortable, but the power outlet on the desk only worked if the light by the door was turned on. That was a nuisance.
The next morning, got up and down to the room where we were meeting by about 8:10 (breakfast buffet was laid out for 8). Ended up having Rice Krispies for breakfast because everything else either contained gluten (I’m trying a gluten-free diet) or was fruit that had melon/cantaloupe/honeydew involved, and that makes me feel nauseous. (Lunch, they had a two gluten free sandwiches for me, and a rather nice potato salad, and a few other options.)
One representative was already there, and so were the chair of the group and the admin. We got to talking, and it was great. Slowly the rest of the group arrived (aside from the chair and the admin, and the communications person, there are seven of us as the Autism Advisory group for the CAPP; six of us made it there in person and there was one person on WebEx). We got started at about nine as planned, and pretty much blew through the first few topics (the chair kept mentioning how much she loved our group, because of how quickly things were going).
It was great. The conversation was lively, even during the breaks, and coming to a consensus about the various things we discussed was quite easy. And just the sense of “I know you” community/understanding between us was… it’s really amazing the first time you experience it, and pretty much anytime thereafter. I’d experienced it a few times before, but it was just as powerful on Monday as it ever was. One of the others mentioned how it was the first time she’d been in a space where the autistics were in the majority, and how comfortable that made her.
So, we got a lot done, everything that was slated for that meeting, and even managed to break early. It was great. I’d talked to most of them in our conference calls about things we’re doing as part of the Autism Canada ASD Advisory Board, and it was nice for me to be able to put faces to names. (I’m not face-blind, so that’s how I tend to think of meeting in person.)
And the person from Nova Scotia lives a short drive from my sister, so we decided it would be nice to get together later in the week. So yesterday (Friday) afternoon, we got together.
She picked me up at my sister’s, and we headed out to a nearby Timmy’s. (Tim Horton’s, for those of you not in Canada and the northern US, is the iconic Canadian coffee shop, even more so than Second Cup.) After we’d been there and chatting for about three hours, we decided to go for dinner, and went to Moon Tong Chinese Restaurant in Upper Tantallon. I got dropped back off at my sister’s more than five hours after I’d left, and I had a great time. We chatted about anything and everything, from pets to diagnoses to how wonderful the meeting on Monday was, and more. (We did a lot of talking about our pets.) And when she dropped me off, she gave me a present of two skeins of yarn that were from her grandmother, because I’d mentioned to her that my sister had taught me to crochet. It was wonderful.
And you can check her out yourself – she’s also a blogger. And she follows a number of those on my list, including (among others) Musings of an Aspie, Diary of a Mom, and Unstrange Mind. Her blogs are at Echoes of Mermaids, and Autistic Me.
Anyway, it’s just really been a great visit – literally absolutely Âû-some! – and I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent here and the people I’ve met. And I get to see everyone from Monday’s meeting again in person twice more! At least! 🙂
Signing off from Timberlea, NS for the moment,
(Oh, and this is Post #100. I think it’s an auspicious one.)